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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Student Spotlight

Jose B. is a 20-year-old City student who has seen more than his share of obstacles. He was born in LA and moved to Tijuana with his family when his grandfather passed away. Jose lived there until he was 15, and his parents told him to come back to the U.S. for the opportunities. He moved to San Diego and eventually became the first in his family to go to college, but it wasn’t easy. As the oldest in his family, Jose had to work two and three jobs to support his four siblings. He often commuted from TJ to San Diego and rode the trolley to get to City College.  
Jose is working as a peer mentor in First Year Experience (FYE), a support service that helps new students adjust to college. He relays his experiences to students he works with. “I didn’t know about financial aid, the bookstore, and programs like EOPS, MESA, and Puente. When I was in school, nobody told me about that.” Now he utilizes the resources; he is an EOPS student and appreciates the guidance and support. Jose wants to let students know what’s available. His advice to new students: “Some students know a lot about college. Find someone who’s going to guide you and help you with their experiences or knowledge. If you need help, you should ask.”
His key to success: “You really have to want it. If you really want something, somehow you’re going to find a way.” Jose would get up at 3:30am on weekends to work at the Spring Valley Swap Meet, loading and unloading construction machinery to sell, earning $60 for 10 hours of labor to pay for school. His goal is to transfer to SDSU and earn a degree in criminal justice. He’s determined to succeed.
Jose is honest and hard on himself. “I always have a problem with time management.” Easy to understand considering he works at Taco Bell and mentors FYE students while carrying 18 units. Still he has his sights set on his goal – working in law enforcement.   
Jose is making a difference with the students he works with. They ask him about his major, and he’s glad to impart his knowledge. He refers students to services such as tutoring and the Math Center. Still, with everything he’s doing, he isn’t satisfied. “I can always do better,” he said.

     

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